Hostel Etiquette: How Not To Be An Absolute Dickhead!

If you’ve been following my blog then you will know that I am a big, big fan of a Hostel. In fact, did you read my article recently about why I prefer staying in Hostels to Hotels?

If not then I’ll just tell you the main things that I love about staying in Hostels. One of those things is obviously the price, and the other thing is the social side of it. I’ve been lucky enough to make so many amazing friends right out of my Hostel dorm, and that’s the reason that I’ll continue to stay in Hostels even when I have the money to be a high-flying Hotel gal.

Even though they’re normally a really great time, every now and then you will be stuck in a room with someone who you want to high five… in the face… with a chair. You fight with everything you have not to high five said person in the face with a chair, as that’s not something you’ve done before and you don’t really want to start doing it now, but the bigger the dick, the stronger the urge gets.

while Hostel etiquette is really just to be a good and mindful person, I’ll run you through a couple of ways you can avoid being the bane of your Hostels life.


Don’t steal food

Great, you’re there for your Lads weekend and you’re drunk and you just really want that pizza that is left in the fridge and don’t feel like it’s the worst thing you can do to something. But c’mon dude, think about it. Your lads weekend is over as quick as it started, and then you’re going to return home and get on the old earning to buy whatever food you want, but the person whose pizza you just stole may have been travelling for a long time and can’t afford these luxuries very often.

If it’s not yours, don’t take it.

Don’t hog the fans

I stayed in a Hostel in Budapest during the Summer where this girl kept turning all of the fans to face her throughout the night. The aircon wasn’t working so the Hostel had provided each room with a billion fans to make up for it, but this gal decided that she was the only one who deserved the sweet release of cold air whizzing past you every now and then. If you’ve been to Eastern Europe during the Summer then you know how hot it gets, and you know what torture that would be in the night.

Let’s just say every morning the girl would wake up looking alright, whilst the rest of us would wake up as sweaty messes, barely able to peel ourselves from the bed that we’d melted to in the night. It was a quick dash to be one of the first to shower.

Be aware of sleepers

For every person that has decided that their phone call, chat, music playing or whatever is more important than someone sleeping – you Sir, are an absolute twat! Basically, if you wouldn’t go home to your Mum’s and make a racket when she is sleeping then don’t do it in a dorm room.

And if you would happily do that to your Mum, then you go and give your old dear a hug and say sorry for being a selfish fuckwit!

Remember which bed is yours

Nobody wants to get woken up by someone falling into their bed. And I also don’t want to roll in to my dorm at god knows what time in the morning, drunk after a night out and find that my bed has been taken and not know where to go instead. 

Move it or lose it buddie!

Don’t look down your nose at anyone

You’re all in the same dorm room, paying the same amount. I don’t give a shit who you are or where you come from – keep your snootiness away from me please.

Atleast attempt to join in with everyone

The best thing about Hostels is generally the camaraderie of it all. It’s the drinking games, the pub crawls, the socials, the cinema nights. There is something for everyone whether you are a drinker or if you can’t stand the sight of alcohol it doesn’t matter. Don’t segregate yourself from the fun.

Obviously in some cases you’re literally only crashing out in that dorm for a couple of hours before an early morning flight and don’t want to socialise. In that case, lock yourself away my friend, that’s totally acceptable!

Keep the sex out of the dorm room

We’ve all been in that situation where we’re just about to drift off to sleep and them KABAM, there it is… sex noises. It’s awkward as fuck and nobody knows what to do about it. If you wanna get down and jiggy in the dorm room then do it in the day when everyone is out. In the evening there is always the showers, the laundry rooms and sometimes even cupboards that you can find that haven’t been unlocked.

Think of your bunkmates, and also think of yourself too. Do you really want to have to make awkward conversation with a massive group of people that had to listen to you bang the night before?

Chill out

The likelihood of staying in a Hostel is that someone will do something that annoys you. One or more of these rules may well be broken during your stay, but try your best to take it on the chin and not overreact. Remember that you’re paying minimal and staying in a room with loads of other people in it. If you’re one of those people that need everything to be perfect then you either need to pay extra to stay in your own private room, or just stay in a Hotel.

What do you think about my ideas on how not to be a dickhead in a Hostel?

Have you ever had any bad encounters? What do you hate most that people do in a Hostel? Tell me in the comments below!



15 responses to Hostel Etiquette: How Not To Be An Absolute Dickhead!

  1. Only stayed in a hostel once, it was a good experience, private room, clean, quiet, tidy and friendly! Chelsea international in new york. No noise at night – the opposite, ppl seemed to be up crazy early getting ready for their days!


  2. Kurt Schmelzer says:

    Loved everything you mentioned in your blog. Very accurate. I’ve been a hostel dweller since the 1980s. and have witnessed the evolution of hostel living on my many trips to Europe, mostly Germany. But the issues that you mentioned are the most constant over my visits. I recently stayed at the Downtown Hostel in Cologne which is probably the nicest and best hostel that I ever stayed at and I noticed a lot of pilfering from the common refrigerators but consisted mainly of helping oneself to stuff like butter or bottled condiments. The kinds of stuff that never gets totally used up anyway and will normally end up on the free for all shelf in the refrigerator or cabinet. Oh, yes, I love your writing style! Very fun to read.


  3. Gala says:

    Hahha very good ideas 😉 I think this will make your stay in hostels even better! Happy travelling 🙂


  4. anne says:

    I love hostels, I lived in one for 8 months. Seriously, people should learn to pack their backpacks before they leave at 3 AM? Ever had that? I can seriously relate to every single point you mentioned!


  5. Absolutely right! You really mentioned some very important and yet basic mannerism which I also believe that everyone should be mindful of! I am quite sure you are a very nice traveler.


  6. thetravelpockets says:

    Hahaha, I would be horrified if someone started having sex next to me! Thanks for the tips!


  7. Jessica says:

    Just always bring the word ‘respect’ if staying in a hostel and add it with a bit of patience .haha. Not all hostel will bring give us nice experiences, just like other accommodations too. But that’s what hostel stay makes more thrilling after all and good thing to remember all you have listed here. Would be very helpful


  8. Love hostel stays! I just like the open atmosphere of them, even if I have my own private room, there’s this whole hang out area in hostels that people typically use versus the lobbies that people rarely stay in at hotels.

    That said, last year at my hostel in Krabi, I wanted to chuck my shoe at this one girl’s head because she kept her light on in her bed super late into the night ALL THE DAMN TIME.

    One thing I feel bad about is snorers. Some of them can be SO loud, but realistically…there’s not much they can do about it. I remember in Ireland this guy’s snore woke all of us up in the middle of the night, and when we woke him up, he felt SO bad that I wound up feeling bad for him.


  9. Adventuring The Great Wide Somewhere says:

    Haha! I’ve yet to stay in a hostel, so this list made me laugh instead of groan in recognition. The girl with the fans!? It seems many people leave their common sense at home when they travel. 😉


  10. Imissmybackpack says:

    The absolute worst thing someone did to the nine other people in a ten bed dorm was setting their alarm for 6 am and then pressing the snooze button about five times, so that every five minutes the alarm would go off. I think by half past six everyone in my dorm was ready to kill that person…
    That was one time, though. Most of the time I just love staying in hostels…


  11. Casey says:

    I have two points to add! One If you are with a group in one room be aware that your group isn’t always the only one in the room. It is not ok for 5 people to come in screaming and turning all the lights on in the middle of the night waking up that sixth person. Sadly this happened way to much to me. I was a solo traveler that ended up in rooms with large groups. Second don’t get so drunk you get sick and/or pee on your bed. Especially if you are on the top bunk.


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